Tuesday, August 4, 2009

8/4 Voting News. EAC goes YouTube, NY sticker shock, Ohio law helps voters, Tenn Election Admin politicized, Bad Ideas for Elections spread

The Elections Assistance Commission gets a YouTube Channel. What next, the EAC on Twitter? New York Counties discover costs of switching to voting machines; EVoter Education Project says that for NY: "A bigger problem in our opinion is that the new ballot scanners are not 'stand-alone' devices at all, as many have been led to believe." Many Detroit polling places moved due to closing of 43 public schools. The Federal Voting Assistance Program is using Twitter, Facebook and other social networking means to communicate with overseas voters. Florida officials favor vote by mail for spec. elections. Maine will now allow voters to go online to request an absentee ballot. A computer scientist shows that India's electronic voting machines can be hacked. Brave New World? The Phillipines plans to use biometric data (fingerprint scan) to identify voters. Bad ideas for voting spread around the world: Namibia mulling electronic voting. Vote by phone in Russia? Is Smartmatic liable under Philippine laws for its misrepresentations of facts (about source code review)?

CA. Bureau of State Audits issues Prop. 11 redistricting commission regulations
When voters passed Proposition 11 last fall to establish a new, citizens redistricting commission to draw legislative district lines starting in 2011, they gave the job of implementing the measure to the Bureau of State Audits, the state's independent, external auditor....A public hearing will take place on September 14 at the Secretary of State's office in downtown Sacramento to gather public input on the draft regulations. The Bureau also invites the public to submit written comments.

FL. Election supervisors favor mail-in voting for special elections
Aug 4. With few voters going to the polls Tuesday, officials overseeing the state Senate District 28 special election say they may request that similar contests in the future by held through the mail.

IL. Many Detroiters will vote in new places
August 1, 2009 Thousands of Detroit voters will be voting in new polling precincts in Tuesday's primary, but Detroit Elections Department officials say they are making sure the voters know where to go. City Elections Director Daniel Baxter said the poll changes are the result of 43 Detroit public schools' closures.

IL. Detroiters to encounter 235 names, double-sided ballot in primary
8/4/09 http://michiganmessenger.com/24251/detroiters-to-encounter-235-names-double-sided-ballot-in-primary (Whew!)

IL.EAC Data Collection Grant
The State of Illinois is one of five states to receive an Election Assistance Commission grant of $2 million to enhance their efforts to collect data regarding voter registration and voting.

KS. Online registration — The biggest hurdle to voting in Kansas has just been knocked down. Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh announced that a quietly developed online system for voter registration is now in operation. Any Kansan may now register to vote or change registration online in just a few minutes.

OH. Ohio elections chief, Dems offer elections changes
August 3, 2009 COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio voters would be able to vote early at more locations — but for a shorter time — and would encounter simpler voter identification requirements under legislation House Democrats plan to introduce Tuesday.

Aug 4. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner commended Tuesday the introduction of HB 260, the elections enhancements bill...Cost saving measures for boards of elections...Enhancements for the Statewide Voter Registration Database....Specify that anonmatch could not, on its own, be the basis for disenfranchising a voter...Streamline Ohio’s voter ID laws..Expand the number of in-person early voting locations..Reform provisional balloting

LA. Cost of redistricting suit adding up
August 4, 2009 NEW ORLEANS - Legal fees in the ongoing saga of a 2006 redistricting lawsuit against the City of Hattiesburg has cost the city more than a half million dollars and counting, officials said Monday..."Today $500,000 plus is where we are," added Bradley, referring to legal costs.

ME. Online absentee ballot service launched
The Maine Secretary of State’s office today unveiled the 2009 Online Absentee Ballot Request Service.
According to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, 189 cities and towns have opted to accept electronic absentee ballot requests from the service. Voters in those communities can fill out and submit their requests for absentee ballots online.

MI. Will photo I. D. be a voting requirement?
Aug 3, 2009 You may be able to decide whether the state should require photo in order to vote...Republicans are hoping to gather 100,00 signatures supporting the initiative by October.Sam Hall, Democratic Party Executive Director said, "It's odd to us that the Republicans are doing this, considering that it was Republican senators under the direction of Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant who killed a comprehensive voting bill that included, not only voter I.D., but early voting Initiatives."

NY. $75,000 PCs TO RUN ELECTIONS IN NY COUNTIES (So much for "stand-alone" voting machines.) ..the new voting system will be vulnerable to all the risks inherent in any centrally managed client-server computer network, including wide-scale error, propagation of viruses and malware, denial of service attacks, insider fraud, and so on.

SC. New elections director puts military regimen to work
After a year spent working at Al Taji Air Base in Iraq, retired U.S. Air Force officer and newly hired Beaufort County elections chief Scott Marshall developed a special affinity for the free and fair elections sometimes taken for granted by Americans.

TN. GOP tampering with election process
August 3, 2009 To the Editor: So, Republican state legislators took advantage of their newly won majority by firing 30 county election coordinators, some with decades of experience, and replacing them with party loyalists.

TN. Hawkins County elections administrator joins class action lawsuit
August 2nd, 2009 ROGERSVILLE — The Republican majority Hawkins County Election Commission has stated publicly on multiple occasions that Elections Administrator Patricia Lumpkins is neither fired nor rehired...
Last week Lumpkins became the 13th Tennessee elections administrator to join a federal class action lawsuit alleging that Republicans conspired to treat her position as a political patronage job and violated her constitutional rights.

WA Don’t Forget to Vote: Its Time to Cast Your Ballot & SE Seattle Needs Some Love Aug 3. This is the first primary election in King County in which voting will be entirely by mail..

US. EAC News #31 8-3-09 EAC on YouTube, Comment on 2005 Vol.Voting Sys Guidelines, VVPAT accessibility and more

US. Federal Voting Assistance Program Newsletter Sept 2009.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program is engaging in a more aggressive communications strategy that utilizes social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to reach our more than 6.1million Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)voters.

Afghanistan. Fears of Fraud Cast Pall Over Afghan Election
...many Afghans remain doubtful that the Aug. 20 election will take place at all.
...Election officials insist that the election will go ahead. But they concede that the insecurity will prevent as many as 600 polling centers, or roughly 10 percent, from opening.

India. EVM could be tampered with by installing a programme through a Trojan Horse: EVMs not fool-proof, demo conducted.
It could be tampered with by installing a programme through a Trojan Horse: Netindia
Amidst questions being raised on reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the issue being raised in the Supreme Court, Netindia, a Hyderabad- based Software Company, demonstrated that the machine could be easily tampered.

India. EVMs cannot be tampered with, reasserts Election Commission
New Delhi, Aug 3 : Amid charges of manipulation of electronic voting machines(EVMs), the Election Commission has reasserted that EVMs are fully tamper proof and even invited 'doubting parties' all over the country to its headquarters this week for a demonstration of the machines so as to put the controversy at rest 'once and for all'.

Namibia. Electronic Voting Will Take Time - MPs

Phillipines. Election 2010: Public Counting & Code Review
Aug 4 Pablo Manalastas. Since COMELEC is a sublicensee of Smartmatic, which in turn is a licensee of Dominion, with only a binary license, COMELEC could not fulfill this sacred duty of source code review in an environment in which “political parties may conduct their own review”, because there is no source code to review.
Is Smartmatic liable under Philippine laws for its misrepresentations of facts? Is COMELEC, under advice from the CAC, fooling the People?

Phillipines. Fingerprint scan to support security of automated polls
Comelec evaluating lowest bidder
A FINGERPRINT scanning system would be set up alongside next year’s automated elections to block unauthorized voting, with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) currently evaluating the lowest calculated bid for the project.

Russia. Voting by Phone Possible in Elections
03 August 2009 Voters may be able to cast their ballots by cell phone as early as March 2010, Vladimir Churov, the country’s top elections official, said at the Seliger youth camp on Sunday. ...Gennady Raikov, the Central Elections Commission’s official overseeing electronic voting, told Interfax that a law would be passed by the end of the year to allow electronic voting. He said the technical aspects of the system were already developed.

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